New revelations from Hunter Biden’s laptop and his former business partner, Tony Bobulinski, have implicated former Vice President Joe Biden in his son’s notorious business deals in Ukraine, China, and elsewhere. More evidence for the evolving story is emerging, day by day. Yet the very same media outlets that ran with the “salacious and unverified” Steele dossier recounting outlandish claims about President Donald Trump and Russia have refused to cover this very real scandal, despite its clear implications in the two weeks before the 2020 election.
While the scandal is particularly damning for Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., who has yet to give a detailed response to the allegations, it also stands as a particularly ugly indictment on the left-leaning legacy media outlets that have rushed to bury an evolving scandal in the critical days before a presidential election.
Why it matters
The media blackout on the Hunter Biden story is egregious due to the magnitude of the scandal. Americans are likely familiar with the basic narrative of the Hunter Biden-Burisma scandal because it featured prominently in the House Democrats’ impeachment against Trump.
While Joe Biden served as the Obama administration’s point person on Ukraine, his son Hunter — who had no experience in fossil fuels — was named to the board of a notoriously corrupt Ukrainian gas company, Burisma. The VP’s son reportedly raked in $83,000 each month for the gig. Later, his father pressured the president of Ukraine to fire a prosecutor who says he was investigating Burisma at the time.
The new emails from Hunter Biden’s laptop appear to demonstrate that Joe Biden met with a Burisma executive months before he pressured Ukraine to fire the prosecutor.
While Joe Biden was the Obama point person on China, Hunter Biden flew to the Middle Kingdom and entered into many lucrative deals with the Chinese Communist Party and Chinese state-owned businesses. Hunter’s deals arguably endangered American military and nuclear secrets, and the Obama administration went soft on China at the time.
The Biden family traded on their influential last name before Joe Biden became Obama’s vice president. The FBI investigated Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential campaign. Only Christopher Tigani, a wealthy beer distributor who bundled cash for the campaign, faced charges, but he exposed Joe Biden’s “Delaware Way” soft corruption.
Biden had repeatedly denied ever discussing the deals with Hunter or any other members of his family, but on Thursday, Tony Bobulinski, who worked with Hunter Biden on the China deals, contradicted the Democratic nominee’s claims. “I have heard Joe Biden say that he has never discussed business with Hunter. That is false. I have firsthand knowledge about this because I directly dealt with the Biden family, including Joe Biden,” Bobulinski said.
Bobulinski held up three phones he said he would turn over to the FBI and to the Senate as evidence of Biden corruption. He also insisted that Joe Biden was “the Big Guy” mentioned in various emails, including one email saying “the Big Guy” would get a 10 percent cut in the business.
Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), notorious for pushing the narrative that Trump colluded with Russia in the 2016 election, claimed that “this whole smear on Joe Biden comes from the Kremlin.”
Many former intelligence officials have also claimed that the Hunter Biden laptop and the emails it revealed seem to be Russian disinformation, though they acknowledged they “do not have evidence” to prove that claim.
Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe rebutted this claim, as did the FBI and the Department of Justice. Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) claims his staff independently confirmed the veracity of the laptop, and paperwork for the laptop appears to bear Hunter Biden’s signature.
Finally, the Biden campaign has not directly claimed that the laptop and the emails are a fabrication, instead merely repeating the argument that the whole scandal is a “Russian plant.”
The scandal is still developing, but the sources have been confirmed to a much greater extent than the Steele dossier had been before the media ran with countless salacious stories. If Joe Biden really did enrich himself through his son’s lucrative business deals with the People’s Republic of China while serving as vice president, that has the potential to become one of the greatest scandals in American history. Yet the legacy media is fighting to bury the story, rather than altering the American people to it.
Big Tech sets the agenda
When The New York Post ran the first story on the Hunter Biden emails last week, Facebook and Twitter took unprecedented actions to suppress it. Twitter briefly suspended the accounts of the Trump campaign, the White House press secretary, and a congressional committee. Facebook, meanwhile, moved to suppress the Post article’s reach even before an independent fact check could be performed.
Twitter defended these actions by claiming that the Post article had violated its “Hacked Materials Policy.” Twitter should be ashamed of this ludicrous response, considering the fact that it did not crack down on other stories that should arguably fall under the Hacked Materials Policy, such as Trump’s tax returns.
It appears Facebook and Twitter aimed to set the agenda for suppressing the story and helping Joe Biden. The legacy media followed suit.
The legacy media blinds itself
Many legacy media outlets have refused to report on the evolving Hunter Biden scandal. National Public Radio announced that it would not cover the story because the bombshell stories are “pure distractions” or “stories that are not really stories.” As PJ Media’s Jim Treacher noted, this boils down to the puerile statement, “’cause we don’t wanna, so there.”
On Thursday, President Donald Trump released the footage of his 60 Minutes interview with CBS News’s Leslie Stahl. He seems to have taken this drastic step because Stahl denied the reality of the Hunter Biden scandal and the Obamagate scandal. She suggested that 60 Minutes could not air Trump’s comments because “we can’t verify them.”
Trump noted that a legacy media reporter asked Biden what flavor of ice cream he got, even while the Democrat was “in the midst of a scandal.”
Stahl cut the president off, insisting, “He’s not.” She later went on to claim that CBS News “can’t verify” Trump’s claim that the Obama administration “spied on his campaign,” even though an FBI staffer pleaded guilty to altering an application to the FISA court to get surveillance on Trump campaign operatives.
Yet the media bias grew worse around the time of the final presidential debate.
After Bobulinski gave his statement and before the debate began, CNN’s Jake Tapper said the Hunter Biden scandal was “too disgusting to even repeat.” He claimed that some of the “allegations about Biden and his family… are just wildly unhinged.”
Following Trump’s decision to mention the scandal sparingly in the debate, Tapper condemned the Hunter Biden revelations as “the Gaetz Mc-Breitbart nonsense.”
“The campaign that Trump and his allies in the media and members of his family and Trump-allied websites and such are leveling, with charges so heinous I’m not even going to say them, just nonsense, crap, tied into Qanon, tied into Pizzagate, tied into the worst things you could say about a person — with no evidence, just completely made up — is so disgusting and so beneath what this election should be,” Tapper added.
“And I just want viewers at home to be ready because all of their grandparents’ Facebook feeds and all of the Twittersphere, it’s going to be so heinous over the next eleven days,” the CNN host said.
—@JakeTapper warns about final days of campaign w/Trump allies pushing “crap tied into QAnon” about Bidens.
“It is so disgusting,” Tapper says, warning viewers it will soon be all over their “grandparents’ Facebook feeds.”
“It’s going to be so heinous over the next 11 days.” pic.twitter.com/yoVF540ibo
— Oliver Darcy (@oliverdarcy) October 23, 2020
Tapper appears to have mentioned Qanon because former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani revealed some texts that suggest Joe Biden knew about Hunter Biden’s alleged sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl and did nothing. This salacious claim is not “completely made up,” however. Giuliani turned over the texts to the Delaware State Police.
Tapper’s Pizzagate reference was utterly uncalled for. As mentioned above, a great deal of emerging evidence has backed up the Hunter Biden scandal, while Pizzagate relied on baseless claims that Hillary Clinton’s emails included secret code words for a pedophile ring — the same kind of conspiracy theory as Qanon. Infamously, an armed man essentially invaded Comet Ping Pong, the pizzeria at the center of Pizzagate, and tried to force the staff to reveal the supposedly sexually enslaved children. When he realized the conspiracy theory was false, he turned himself over to the authorities.
The Hunter Biden scandal is nothing like Pizzagate. Pizzagate involved secret coded messages and none of the recipients of Hillary Clinton’s emails ever confirmed the supposed “code” behind the emails. Bobulinski’s game-changing testimony definitively demonstrated that the Hunter Biden scandal is grounded in reality.
Yet legacy media reporters and commentators did not just attack Trump for discussing the story. As National Review‘s Ryan Mills reported, many attacked fellow journalists simply for sharing the bombshell New York Post story and asking Biden questions. The woke Twitter mob excoriated The New York Times‘ Maggie Haberman and Politico‘s Jake Sherman for even acknowledging the story, even as they questioned the reporting.
Fellow journalists condemned CBS News reporter Bo Erickson for daring to ask Biden about it, and Biden condemned the scandal as “another smear campaign.”
Ben Rhodes, Obama’s former deputy national security advisor, accused Erickson of “acting as the far end of a Russian disinformation operation.”
ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd replied to Erickson’s report, saying, “Lordy, you ask someone about an article that has already been proven false and having Russia propaganda as its basis? I would suggest taking a look in the mirror.”
When Politico’s Marc Caputo dared to defend Erickson, Neera Tanden, president of the Center for American Progress, attacked him.
“This stance means you are perfectly happy being a tool of a Russian campaign to hurt one candidate and help another,” Tanden wrote. “You’ve learned zero since 2016.”
John Harwood, CNN’s White House correspondent, claimed that a recent Fox News phone-in interview with Trump “makes clear disinformation by Russian intelligence on Biden isn’t enough to carry him across the finish line on its own.”
Vox Associate Editor Aaron Rupar argued that Trump has “made amplifying a Russian disinformation campaign against the Bidens a centerpiece of his re-election rallies.”
Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson said it “should beggar belief, with all we know about Kremlin attacks on the United States, an American media outlet of any political persuasion would willingly act as a conduit for Russian disinformation.”
The legacy media appears to have caught a severe case of groupthink, and it seems the growing level of evidence isn’t enough to convince them to cover this extremely newsworthy scandal.
The decision to bury this scandal is a huge blemish on the legacy media. It is unconscionable for media outlets to dismiss the Hunter Biden scandal without evidence and even in the face of increasing evidence.
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Tyler O’Neil is the author of Making Hate Pay: The Corruption of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Follow him on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.
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